So, what is SEER?
It wasn’t that long ago, when you went to buy a heat pump or air conditioner, the salesperson talked to you about tonnage – this is a one-and-a half ton unit or that is a two ton unit. Today, you are more likely to hear about SEER – Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating. What exactly does SEER measure and does it matter?
Let’s do a little time travel. In 1970, Richard Nixon was president, gasoline was 36 cents per gallon, and your air conditioner was a SEER 6. When you went to the car lot, the salesman talked about 350 horsepower or 400 horsepower. The HVAC salesman talked about tons. Same thing. They were both talking about raw power. Just like the car salesman who never mentioned MPG, the air conditioner and heat pump salesman never mentioned SEER. SEER is like MPG in that they don’t measure raw power but they measure efficiency. In1970, efficiency, whether in your automobile or in your air conditioner or heat pump, really wasn’t that big of a deal.
Let’s move ahead to 2010. Gasoline has reached more than $3.00 per gallon. Gone are the muscle cars and the car salesman will more likely pitch MPG – efficiency – rather than raw power. In 2010, the air conditioning and heat pump contractor will tell you about carbon footprints, the cost of electric power generating facilities, and your utility bill. He will tell you about SEER. Efficiency always mattered, but now more than ever.
At Carolina Green Energy Systems, we have never sold a heat pump or air conditioner with a SEER of less than 13. The Carolina Green Energy Systems air conditioning and heat pump units use half the electricity that the 1970s units used. Do the math. Even if your old unit is still working, if you can cut your power bill in half, it won’t take long to pay for your new system. And then after that, the savings are cash money in your pocket. It makes sense to me.
In my next entry I’ll tell you a little about the services we provide when we install a new heat pump or air conditioner like an energy audit, checking for adequate insulation, and sealing the existing duct work. Check out the Carolina Green Energy Systems website at www.CarolinaGES.com or stop by our office in Pawleys Island if you’re in the area.